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How do you like the Manley Pres?
Old 20th July 2002
  #1
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Mad John's Avatar
 

How do you like the Manley Pres?

Hello,

I have owned a Manley duel mono Preamp for over a year now. My studio has been constantly upgradeing this past 2 years and although I have used the Manley extensively, I prefer my Universal 2-610 to most aplications.

I got a sense right away from the 2-610, but the manley has me stumped as to what it's strength are beyond "Low End" instruments like Bass and Bass Drum. Vocals are good too.

Any users of the Manley out there that can aid me to the Preamps strong points. Maybey you have found great mics to acomedate it, or some cool chain w/ EQ....please let me hear from you!

Peace & Dreams,
Old 20th July 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Mike Tholen's Avatar
 

I have tried to use thier stuff and while it 'works' in the most simplest of manners it doesn't 'float my boat'.
I much prefer almost anything else.
I can't understand why there isn't much gain to thier units.
most all the other pres I use goto somewhere around +76dB. I use alot of ribbon mics.
there doesn't seem to be any color to these pres either, if there is, I don't like it. they sound too clean for me. I like balls and I haven't found them anywhere near a manley mic pre.

good luck in your search.
regards, Mike
Old 20th July 2002
  #3
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Hi Mike!

Yeah, I am hearing you, but I still feel there is something that I have missed that others have been sucsessful in captureing with the Manley Pres. They must be good for something, since they are incorperated into so many of thier "Combo" pieces!

Anyone else have a take on the Manley pres?

Eve Anna, it would be nice to hear from you!

By the way, I have the 60db model.

Cheers,
Old 21st July 2002
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I like the VoxBox for vocals, bass, mono drum overhead, or room. I don't much care for it on guitar. I usually use tube guitar amps and that combined with the VB doesn't float my boat. I like to use my Great River MP2 for guitar.

The compressor took me a while to get used to, and on the few instances where I need de-essing, it worked well. The limiter is kinda cool too. The EQ is very smooth and useful. I use the EQ during mixing a lot. Esp on vocals, or something that I think needs a bit more depth. I think it's a great piece, but like anything it doesn't work on every source.
YMMV
Old 21st July 2002
  #5
Moderator emeritus
 

It's pretty much a personal taste thing, I think. I usually use the Manley preamps on acoustic guitars (with a Manley ELOP following it),, but I've used them with good success on all acoustic instruments as well as on vocals and overheads (when it was the only decent pre I owned, I used it on everything...)

I find mine to be fairly transparent, except for a little added sheen in the top end.
Old 21st July 2002
  #6
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Interesting! What input settings do you all use? Do you go for a clean 40db marking, or do you find that the Manley soars w/ more Tube saturation at higher DB levals?

Anyone ever use the 60db setting on anything?

Dave, I hear you on the Manley. It once was my only pre and I found it was not as well rounded as I had thought (thinking it would make all intruments sound gorgous!? Had trouble getting a good acoustic guitar sound.
Old 22nd July 2002
  #7
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mad John

Dave, I hear you on the Manley. It once was my only pre and I found it was not as well rounded as I had thought (thinking it would make all intruments sound gorgous!? Had trouble getting a good acoustic guitar sound.
I generally don't look for saturation when I'm cutting tracks - aty least not much of it. In fact, I had the folks at Manley add a 10dB input pad because I was having overload problems with the Manly on overheads with TLM 103's. But I've been quite pleased recently with the Manley pre, Manley ELOP and Shure KSM 44's on acoustics.
Old 22nd July 2002
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
vsl666's Avatar
 

god im glad i havent got one !
and it has silly little nobs on it ,,,grggt
and lets face it its to darn small heh

like steve martin ... ? (if u have a long memory)
Old 26th July 2002
  #9
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chap's Avatar
 

While I love my VoxBox, it's not for everything (what pre is?) The great alternatives in the same neighborhood are the Requisite PALS and the Vipre.
Between the 3 of them you can cover almost anything. The trouble is that you need to buy them in pairs.
Old 26th July 2002
  #10
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Hi Chap, What do you find that The Manley pres do best?

Does anyone have any special aplications that they use ONLY the Manley for. Where do you feel that the Manley pre doesn't cut it.

I have found it not so hot for acoustic guitars and cab micking. tut
Old 26th July 2002
  #11
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mad John

I have found it not so hot for acoustic guitars and cab micking. tut
And this is what makes all of this stuff so much fun - I almost always use the Manley preamp and ELOP when I'm tracking acoustic guitars. And that's with about 10 different models of preamps to choose from. Who's right? Both of us, of course!
Old 26th July 2002
  #12
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Dave, fantastic! What mics are you useing over there in Tenn?

Also, what db settings do you favor for acoustic aplications?

You know I have the MU. Would you recomend going thru that as well at a low Limiting setting? I never tried it here, for I wanted as clean a path to tape as possible!

By the way, you are right....THIS is fun!
Old 26th July 2002
  #13
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mad John
Dave, fantastic! What mics are you useing over there in Tenn?

Also, what db settings do you favor for acoustic aplications?

You know I have the MU. Would you recomend going thru that as well at a low Limiting setting? I never tried it here, for I wanted as clean a path to tape as possible!

By the way, you are right....THIS is fun!
For acoustics, I usually use the Shure KSM44's, one high and one low, then panned hard left and right. If I'm stacking acoustics, I'll just take one of the channels out of record, and make a second pass... Occasionally, I'll go to KM184's when the Shure's are already in use, and if it's a slamming rhythm track, I might use M-582's (If the power supplies aren't being used on other Gefell mics).

The settings vary with the guitar and the track, but I'll set levels with the ELOP's bypassed, then set the ELOP's (linked) so that I'm getting a dB or two of gain reduction on the loudest bits. Then make up gain as needed, also with the ELOP.
Old 26th July 2002
  #14
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Very nice Dave!

I have a KSM-32 (1) - I think I will try it again, as I have always felt that the KSMs were not preferable on acoustics.

My crappy Taylor seems to like the CAD E-200 the best. Everything else seemed "blury!"
Old 26th July 2002
  #15
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Mad John
Very nice Dave!

I have a KSM-32 (1) - I think I will try it again, as I have always felt that the KSMs were not preferable on acoustics.

My crappy Taylor seems to like the CAD E-200 the best. Everything else seemed "blury!"
My experience is that the KSM 44 is a completely different mic than the KSM 32 - to start with, the 44 is a large diaphragm mic, where the 32 is one of those 5/8" (or 1/2") capsules. When I got the 44's (for a review), I wasn't all that impressed with them until I quit using them. You know, that feeling of "What happened to the drum sound?" when all I did was switch overhead mics from the Shure's to something else. But yeah, it's pretty guitar specific - most of the guys who work here use D-18's, and they're happy with the 44's. And someone who was here last week brought an old Gibson with him - that guitar liked AKG 480's more than anything else. Since the E-200 is a relatively dark mic (at least the one I have is), then it could make sense that a Taylor would like it. Most of the Taylors I see are a bit thin for my taste.

Go figure.
Old 16th March 2008
  #16
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Any more comments on the Manley duel mono pre?

What do you find that it excels in and what are the pre's weak points!

Thanks!
Old 16th March 2008
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

I've got a Manley Dual Mono, and if a track sounds bad that was recorded with it, it isn't the fault of the preamp. The Manley is certainly as versatile, if not more so, as anything else I have (MP2NV, TG2, 512c, Quartet, DVC, Brick).
Old 16th March 2008
  #18
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Mad John's Avatar
 

Hello Rich!

Great to hear you say that! I found it wonderful for vocals and bass, but I never really went to it much these last few years. When I first got it in 2001, I tried it on everything...I was not impressed with the sound. When I have gone back to it, always choose another pre. The Monster cables don't help!I like my Universal 2-610 better!

I would really like to love the Manley. I will give it another go.

Thanks!
Old 16th March 2008
  #19
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vernier's Avatar
Quote:
Anyone else have a take on the Manley pres?
I used it, they're extremely hi fi ...wouldn't mind having one.
Old 17th March 2008
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
TTatman's Avatar
 

Beautiful on grand piano.


Catamount Recording
Old 17th March 2008
  #21
Gear Nut
 

Using a SLAM! on acoustic guitars and VO.

Last session was Gibson SJ-200 - U87 - SLAM...perfect. Same setup for some mandolin ODs, also great.

Lots of VO work, it really magnifies the source, so someone with bad mic technique does not benefit at all, regardless of mic used. Ditto if they are sibilant, or just need eq to sit right in the track, better served with something else.
Old 17th March 2008
  #22
Gear Nut
 
anne_paranoid's Avatar
 

I own the Vovox. I use it on Vocals, drum room and bass guitar. Sometimes i use it on guitars, and i never use it on snare/toms/bass drum
Old 17th March 2008
  #23
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Frost's Avatar
 

My manley dual mono is great. I thing its biggest strength is making crappy mics like rodes and cheaper audio technicas sound like a million bucks. Its also very good on vocals with my lawsons with the input gain at 45 and the trim pushed hard (thicker), or very good with my cmv563s with the gain at 60 and the trim pretty low (cleaner). I think its a pre with several very good flavors in one.

Frost

PS I hate the 610 as using it on more than one track leads to mud in my mixes that I always have to filter out.
Old 17th March 2008
  #24
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SighBorg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Anyone else have a take on the Manley pres
Make sure you dont have your wallet with you if you test the Slam! pres on bass guitar.

I REALLY wish Manley would just release a dual or single channel version of the Slam pres! I really don't want to pay for the whole other pre in the TNT2 that I wouldn't be buying it for. Not to say the other channel isn't great, I'm just looking for the other pre in the unit. Currently if you want 2 channels of just Slam! pres then you need to buy 2 TNT2s - at which point you might as well buy a Slam!.
Old 18th March 2008
  #25
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staudio's Avatar
 

I love my Manley Dual Mono for everything except kick and snare.
It actually sounded good, but not as crisp and tight as I like. Overheads are spectacular. Vocals from any singer are smooth and ever so slightly "warm". Bass DI is full and rich, Trumpet is clear and detailed but not harsh, strings are buttery goo, electric guitar is killer with the Manley, not harsh at all even with screaming biting tones.

Most people expect a super round and mushy tone when using a tube preamp (610 style), but the Manley is more of a clean and open sound, that to my ear sounds surprisingly close to the Rupert Neve Designs 5012 with Silk engaged, but with more bass and slightly "warmer".

The adjustable gain really does change the tone of the pre, but the degree of difference you will hear is dependent on the source. Some male vocals can actually get really mushy at 60dB, but female voices tend to stay cleaner at the higher gains.

A killer preamp that gets ignored and bashed because people are jealous of the purple and black faceplate.

If you have heard this preamp and don't like the sound then by all means don't use it. I respect everyone's right to a sonic opinion.
Old 18th March 2008
  #26
djs
Gear Nut
 

I like the way the Manley has the ability to darken things up depending on how you drive it . Perfect for dealing with overly bright sources. I liked it a lot for bottom snare mic with say, an sm81. Or a DI bass with tone or an effect that gets a little to active in the treble area.
Old 18th March 2008
  #27
Gear Addict
 
underworld's Avatar
 

I have a mono pre and think it's one of my prize possessions. The manley and the great river (ME-1NV) were my first "pro" level pres after dumping all my "prosumer" gear (presonus, art, and the like). I ended up dumping the great river .... not because it wasn't nice - it just didn't have the immediate character that the manley has.

I've loaned mine out on a couple of occasions and didn't think I was going to get it back!

I've attempted to use it on everything - drums (kick, snare), vocals, acoustic, electric, bass, you name it. For me it really shines on vocals .... it brings a presence or intimacy i haven't heard elsewhere. I also really like it on bass (both direct and mic'd) - it makes the bass just sound "right". Acoustic is OK through it for me ... kinda depends on the mic. I've found a "bright" mic like a R0de with the Manley works well to balance out my rather bland sounding Washburn acoustic. For electric - it's hit and miss depending on the amount of overdrive and the number of tracks I stack. Sometimes it too much. Same thing on back vocals - sometimes I have to manage the gain on the pre closely to make sure I'm not overdoing it when stacking tracks. However, the first time I used the manley on backing vocals i was literally blown away. No eq and almost no verb/delay needed to make them "pop".

I guess they're not for everyone - but I will be hanging on to mine for a LONG time.

One more "usage" note - I've found that vocals that are more "naked" or exposed in the mix seem to do better with the Manley than vocals which are buried by lotsa guitars and arrangement. Think Norah Jones - something up-front, exposed, and intimate - for those arrangements in particular, the Manley seems to really shine.

Hope this helps.
Old 18th March 2008
  #28
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vernier's Avatar
Was an early mono one I tried. Its retro like a passive eq, but a pre.
Old 18th March 2008
  #29
Gear Nut
I have the TNT. I find it amazing!!
I can understand people wanting only the tube side from all the raving I have read about the slam pre but I find the solid state side easily as good and useful. for bass I far prefer it to the tube side (switched to clean).

It realy is a swiss army knife - I am still getting used to all the variations it has to offer. Many amazing sounds but takes a long time to get used to all of them. It still suprises me time after time.

Very beautiful sounds to my ears that certainly float my boat
Old 18th March 2008
  #30
Harmless Wacko
 

Manley Slam! pre's are "money" sounding to my ears.

Not exactly an inexpensive way to get use of a great(pair of) pre, but a great pre nonetheless.

Best regards,

SM.
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